The Sportsman Boxing Power Rankings: July 2022

Lots of movement this month as Haney, Beterbiev, 'Bam' and Inoue reap the rewards of stunning victories
08:35, 03 Jul 2022

The Sportsman Boxing Power Rankings is a monthly series ranking boxers on a number of factors to determine the most pivotal names in the fight game. Rather than a pound-for-pound list, the Power Rankings will collate performance, reputation, influence and momentum. Here is our pick for the ten male boxers who sit atop the sport as of right now.

As mentioned last month, current WBC, The Ring and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury does not appear. This is due to his retirement after defeating Dillian Whyte in April. Should ‘The Gypsy King’ confirm his intention to return to the ring, he will be considered for future Power Rankings.

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10. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

You can’t keep a good man down, and ‘Canelo’ has been one of boxing’s best for over a decade now. His May loss to Dmitry Bivol still stings, but the Mexican will head back to super middleweight for a third fight with Gennady Golovkin in September. Alvarez is widely favoured to close the book on the ‘GGG’ rivalry with a victory but, as Bivol showed, greater tests lie ahead for the 31-year-old. 

9. Jessie ‘Bam’ Rodriguez 

A new entry into the Power Rankings, and what an entry for ‘Bam’. The WBC flyweight champion blasted out multi-time former champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in eight rounds in a star-making performance. At the age of just 22, Rodriguez seems to have the boxing world on the edge of its seat for the next instalment of his educated violence.

8. Shakur Stevenson 

Stevenson dazzled us all in unifying his WBO strap with Oscar Valdez’s WBC belt back in April. Now the 25-year-old is scheduled to take on Robson Conceicao. Most felt ‘Nino’ had done enough to defeat Valdez when they met last year, so a bout with Stevenson is intriguing. Expect this to be the next stop on the road to superstardom for Shakur.

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7. Jermell Charlo 

‘Iron Man’ is still basking in the glow of becoming undisputed light middleweight champion. He currently does not have a fight on the schedule, but considering his superb tenth-round knockout of Brian Castano came just a few weeks ago, he can be forgiving for enjoying the moment. 

6. Artur Beterbiev 

Beterbiev’s two-round destruction of WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr was as definitive a statement as he could have made. Had the next man on this list not defeated boxing’s pound-for-pound king, WBC, IBF and WBO champion Beterbiev would be considered the best light heavyweight there is. 

5. Dmitry Bivol 

With the rematch clause from his win over ‘Canelo’ left un-triggered, Bivol has options. Beterbiev is the most attractive of those, with an undisputed title showdown between the two unbeaten fighters setting pulses racing. Bivol would be forgiven for taking a slightly easier route though immediately following a victory over the consensus best boxer on the planet.

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4. Naoya Inoue 

Inoue’s first fight with Nonito Donaire was a classic, their 2019 twelve-rounder winning various Fight of the Year awards. His second victory over the Filipino was a mauling. ‘The Monster’ took just two rounds to dismantle Donaire and add the WBC bantamweight belt to his WBA and IBF titles. Inoue continues to be the most exciting and terrifying fighter in boxing’s lower weight classes.

3. Errol Spence Jr 

The three-belt welterweight superstar blew the doors off the division when he stopped Yordenis Ugas in ten rounds in April. A “somebody’s 0 must go’ undisputed title clash with WBO king Terence Crawford is the fight everyone wants. ESPN says it is close, Floyd Mayweather says it isn’t. Whatever the truth is, there really is no other fight out there for either man that could come close to this one. Spence-Crawford is the sort of fight one can hang a legacy on.

2. Devin Haney 

He came, he saw, he conquered. The 23-year-old went to George Kambosos’ backyard of Australia and came home with the undisputed lightweight crown. The beaten man is pursuing the rematch his contract entitles him to, but he would be better served stepping aside. Haney subjected him to a comprehensive domination that rubber-stamped his pound-for-pound credentials.

1. Oleksandr Usyk

In a world without Fury, Usyk is the de facto heavyweight champion of the world. It is a role that fits him snugly. Whether he is proving a thoughtful advocate for the plight of his people in Ukraine or staging elegant displays of boxing prowess between the ropes, he is a worthy title-holder. His credentials will be tested against old foe Anthony Joshua in August. ‘AJ’ is bringing a new trainer and mindset, Usyk must bring the same concentration, will and skill to retain his hard-won belts.

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